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The Finnish Film Foundation backs 16 productions


- The body has earmarked almost €5 million to support the making of seven fiction features, five documentaries and four shorts, including new works by Alli Haapasalo and Antti J Jokinen

The Finnish Film Foundation backs 16 productions
Director Alli Haapasalo, who has received support for Amanda of the Night (© Marica Rosengard)

Last week, the Finnish Film Foundation announced the recipients of its latest round of funding. On this occasion, the body earmarked a total of €4.997 million to support the making of 16 new productions. The backed projects include seven fiction features, five documentaries and four shorts. Two fiction features, three documentary features and one short are minority co-productions.

The bursary of the biggest magnitude went to Antti J Jokinen’s latest effort, Kalevala – The Story of Kullervo (€1,022,700). Jokinen is producing alongside Johanna Enäsuo and Marko Röhr for Finland Storm Inc and ReelMedia. According to certain local sources, including Finnish pubcaster YLE, the ambitious, high-profile project, currently in the works, is going through a turbulent production process owing to some serious security threats. SF Studios is in charge of its distribution.

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Meanwhile, Alli Haapasalo, known for her Sundance Audience Award winner Girl Picture [+see also:
film review
interview: Alli Haapasalo
film profile
(2022), received a €900,000 grant for Amanda of the Night, a period drama about an unruly woman sent to a mental institution on the island of Seili. The film is described as “an empowering and epic adventure and love story”. It was penned by Katja Kallio and is being staged by Teea Hyytiä and Aleksi Bardy for Helsinki-filmi.

The other five backed fiction features are Aleksi Salmenperä’s Backstage (€870,000, produced by Tekele Productions), Ivan Nikolaichuk’s The Eternity Man (€155,000, produced by Ukraine’s Niko Holding & Investment with MRP Matila Röhr Productions serving as the minority co-producer), Lauri-Matti Parppei’s A Light That Never Goes Out (€800,000, staged by Made), Markus Lehmusruusu’s The Squirrel (€920,000, a Bufo presentation) and Martin Duda’s Rosa & Dara – Their Great Summer Adventure (€100,000, produced by Czech outfit Bionaut with Finnish minority co-producer TACK Films).

Meanwhile, the documentary features in receipt of the foundation’s backing are Moona Pennanen’s All the Light that Remains (€47,300, produced by Illume), Chris Petit’s Discontent (€111,500, a Testifilmi production), Guro Saniola Bjerk’s In Cod We Trust (€45,000, produced by Norway’s f(x) produksjoner with Finnish minority co-producer Wacky Tie Films), Bipuljit Basu’s Redlight to Limelight (€25,000, produced by India’s Touch Narrative with Finland’s JW Documentaries serving as a minority co-producer) and Sylvelin Måkestad’s The Smuggler (€41,000, staged by Sweden’s Ballad Film with Finnish minority partner Mouka Filmi).

Finally, the supported shorts are Jenny Jokela’s animation Dollhouse Elephant (€86,500, produced by Böhle Studios), Carmen Baltazar’s Roma drama Ederlezi (€81,500, a Kenno Filmi presentation), Liselotte Wajstedt and Marja Helander’s doc In My Hand (€16,000, produced by Norwegian and Swedish outfits with Finnish minority co-producer Sons of Lumière), and Hans Pieski and Arttu Nieminen’s At the Shadow of the World (€8,000, produced by R2 Productions), billed as “a surreal journey into the complex relationship between indigenous people and the unstoppable force of technological progress”.

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